5 Feb 2015

Driver hit by police car calls for discipline

7:48 pm on 5 February 2015

The driver of a vehicle hit by a police car during a high speed police pursuit near Wellington says the officer driving needs to be disciplined.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) today released its report into the incident and found the officer drove dangerously during the pursuit of a car down the wrong side of State Highway 1, near the Wellington surburb of Tawa.

The chase, in June last year, started in Tawa where two road police officers stopped to deal with a car on the side of the road.

The car was found to have a non-operation order because of illegal modifications, and the driver, Leslie Paaka, was disqualified.

The officers telephoned another patrol car to keep a watch out for the car if it drove past their location.

The car went go past and the officers signalled the driver to stop but he continued on to SH1 travelling north in the southbound lane and the officer gave chase.

During the pursuit, an oncoming car driven by Ellen Graham was clipped by the fleeing vehicle but no one was injured.

IPCA chairperson Sir David Carruthers said the officer's actions amounted to dangerous driving and he should be disciplined - something Ms Graham agreed with.

"He needs to be disciplined. You can't have an attitude chase. You can't just decide 'I'm not going to answer coms'," she told Checkpoint.

"They did not know he had gone up on the motorway in this pursuit.

"In the report it also states if coms had known, they would have abandoned that pursuit immediately."

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